Friday, January 31, 2014

Nonna Bread

On family vacations Jess's Nonna would produce an ongoing supply of fresh bread to feed the hordes of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and immediate family member gobs/mouths. In the 12 or so years since we have been together I have heard a never ending story of how amazing "Nonna's" bread was and how it disappeared faster than French Fries at Fat Camp. After a meal at Jess's folks place I decided that we should track down the recipe and see if I could bring back a little of the magic.
As an outsider that never tasted "the goods" I figured I would be an impartial judge of the difference between nostalgia and the "real deal". I was prepared to make the bread and prove that their memories were raising the myth of the bread beyond the reality of a little salt, yeast, flour and water mixed together. It turns out I couldn't have been further from the truth. This is easily the best bread that has ever crossed my lips! The crust, texture, flavour, density and any other descriptive word was perfect. We finished most of a loaf  right out of the oven and then incorporated it in into every meal until it was gone. It is great as a thick slab coated in peanut butter or as a normal slice of bread in a sandwich.


Yeast mixture:
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 3/4 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp flour
Dough mixture:
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • ~ 2 cups warm water

  1. In a medium bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and water.
  2. After a couple minutes stir in the flour and let the mixture double in size.
  3. In a stand mixer (or large bowl) combine the dough ingredients and add the yeast mixture.
  4. Knead, with a dough hook or by hand, for about 10 min or until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl or your hands.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until it has doubled ~40 min.
  6. Punch down and then separate in to two greased loaf pans and let rise again ~1.5 hours.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 min.
Pull it out of the oven and try not to bite your fingers as you stuff it down your throat.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


I'm not totally sure why I decided to make donuts this morning but I am sure glad I went through with it. It took a while but I ended up with 3 dozen donuts and 3 dozen Timbits, give or take the ones that disappeared before the inventory was completed.
The donuts were amazing... they had a little color and crisp on the outside and were light and fluffy in the middle. We made three glazes to coat them and they gave just enough sweetness to make sure you were eating a donuts but were not so sweet that you felt like your teeth were going to fall out (I'll put the glaze recipes in another post).


  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup scalded milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 6 cups flour

Here are the victims before they hit the fryer.


  1. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan and set aside to cool off (I guess this keeps an enzyme in the milk from killing the yeast).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the warm water, yeast, and a tbsp of the sugar and allow to proof until it doubles in size.
  3. I added the rest of the ingredients and 4 cups of the flour and started mixing.
  4. Mix for a couple of minutes and add the rest of the flour until it no longer sticks to the bowl.
  5. Cover and let rise for an hour.
  6. Roll out the dough until it is half an inch thick and cut out the donuts.
  7. Cover and let them rise for another hour.
  8. Fry at 350 degrees F for two minutes.
  9. Glaze them while they are warm and put on a rack to cool.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wontons and Wor Wonton Soup - UPDATED!

Keeping with my current trend of deep frying everything I can I ended up tossing some of my wontons in the the fryer and they ended up as a very tasty appetizer. Out of the three ways I prepared them I think my favourite will always be the pot-stickers. 

Jess got me a meat grinder for Christmas and I wanted to use it to make something simple while I got used to it. We have been eating super rich foods and wanted to make something fresh and different to get us back on track. We decided to grind up some pork shoulder to make pot-stickers and wor wonton soup. The meat filling had the perfect texture and we ended up with extra dumplings, soup and pork mince. 
Here is some of the process:

We made about 30 wontons and put ten in the freezer, used ten as pot-stickers, and the last ten went in the soup. The wontons were spicy and the soup was milder while still having a ton of flavor.



  • 1 lbs pork mince
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 red chilis
  • ginger (garlic clove sized chunk)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp green onion
  • wonton wrappers
  • Salt and pepper

  1. In a food processor chop the garlic, chili, ginger and green onion. If you don't have a food processor finely chop the ingredients or use a box grater.
  2. Add the chopped ingredients to the mince and stir in the soy, teriyaki and salt and pepper.
  3. Chill the mixture for 15 minutes.
  4. Stuff the wonton wrappers and seal with a little water.
  5. If you want to make pot-stickers take a large frying pan with a lid. Add 2 tbsp of oil, the wontons, and enough water to cover two thirds of the wontons. Steam/boil until the water has reduced then remove the lid and continue to cook until the bottoms crisp up (I can never wait long enough).
  6. Toss in soy, teriyaki, or sweet chili sauce and serve garnished with some chopped green onion.

Wor Wonton Soup


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ginger (one garlic sized piece)
  • 1 red chilli
  • 4 tbsp green onion
  • 4 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups mushhroom
  • 4 cups chopped bok choi
  • wontons

  1. Chop the garlic, ginger, 2 tbsp green onion, and ginger.
  2. In a large pot on medium heat add the chopped ingredients and soften for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the wontons and let boil until they are cooked thoroughly.
  5. Throw in the mushrooms, bok choi and remaining green onions.
  6. Cook for a couple minutes and serve hot.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Garlic and Dill Refrigerator Pickles

You know you are at a good deli when your sandwich is accompanied by a crunchy pickle. I am partial to garlic, dill pickles and tend to stay away from spicy or sweet pickles.
I have never worked with a brine or pickled anything before so I figured pickles would be a good test of how easy this would be to do at home.
The first step for this was to find a good jar to make my pickles. The grocery store near us does have a pickling and jamming section with the classic mason jars but I wanted something with a flip top for my refrigerator pickles. I ended up finding a great jar for only a couple bucks at Ikea. You can even purchase replacement gaskets if the one that comes with it gets too funky.
The pickles have a great crunch and a good burn from the garlic. They took about five or six days before the flavors really married and you lost some of the cucumber/vinegar aftertaste. I guess they are supposed to be good for three or four weeks but I know they won't last that long.
It really only takes ten or fifteen minutes to make the brine and the rest is just trying not to eat them while the flavors come together in the fridge.


  • 8 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 tsp of sea salt (pure/unprocessed)
  • 1 cup fresh dill sprigs
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bag mini cucumbers

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Add half the garlic and simmer for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar and salt and boil until the salt dissolves.
  4. In the jar add the peppercorns, remaining garlic, and half the dill.
  5. Quarter or halve the cucumbers and stuff the jar.
  6. Pour the brine into the jar until the cucumbers have been totally covered.
  7. Put in the rest of the dill and seal the jar and store in the fridge for at least five days.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Maple Bacon Ice Cream

One of my friends was coming over to hang out a couple of nights ago and texted me saying he wanted Maple Bacon Ice Cream when he arrived. I had some bacon in the fridge and decided I could accommodate his request.
Afterwards, he claimed it was "the best ice cream he had ever eaten in his life"... not to pat myself of the back too much but it was really good. I am a cheater though because it is pretty easy to make things delicious by adding bacon, even if it is ice cream.
I am very happy how simple it is to come up with original recipes for ice cream. This ice cream went from "dream text" to our bellies in about three hours. It is weird how good the cool sweet ice cream is with the smokey bacon flavor. It reaches the primal nub in your brain that loves bacon and is connected to your eyes, mouth, and stomach forcing you to keep eating it and invariably snagging a couple extra scoops.


  • 3 cups of whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar (you could probably drop this to 1/2 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5-7 strips of bacon (candied)

  1. Fry the bacon in a frying pan on medium heat to render as much of the fat out as you can.
  2. When it is nearing the crispy end of the spectrum coat the strips in 1 tbsp of maple syrup.
  3. Continue to fry for a minute or two or until the syrup has thickened.
  4. Set the bacon aside on a plate to cool (don't drain it on paper towel or the syrup will stick to it).
  5. In a small sauce pan add 1 cup cream, the sugar, salt, vanilla and remaining syrup.
  6. Heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Remove from the heat and mix it together with the other 2 cups of cream.
  8. Chill in the fridge or freezer for a couple hours.
  9. Once the bacon has cooled it will be hard and brittle.
  10. Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  11. Mix the cream in an ice cream maker.
  12. When the ice cream is a desired consistency add the bacon.
  13. Serve with additional maple syrup.

foodgawker Photo Post

I have been looking for ways to promote the blog and found that there are a ton of "Food Blog Photo" websites that showcase beautiful food related photos. One of them is foodgawker.

I naively thought that my photos are pretty slick and I would have no problem getting my photos accepted.

I ended up submitting 11 different photos and was sent packing because of my awkward camera angles and proximity to the food.

Here is the winning photo:

Here is the link to my photo: foodgawker post 307209

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Swedish Pancakes

I finally made something that wasn't deep fried and even filled and topped it with fruit. I am not much of a "breakfast" person; I usually just make a cup of coffee and eat a banana but Jess harassed me into making some Swedish Pancakes this morning.
A Swedish Pancake is kind of a cross between a pancake and a crepe. They are very thin but still fluffy and are the perfect vessel for a fruit compote. Today I just cooked down some fresh raspberries and blue berries with a little sugar and lime juice. I would have preferred some lemon or orange zest but had to roll with what was available.
 I am usually crappy at flipping things in a pan but I have been practicing a bit and actually tossed these plate sized monsters without any trouble.
It was a light breakfast that still filled us up and is just different enough from normal pancakes that you feel fancy and international. This made three giant pancakes but you could easily scale the recipe up.


  • 2 eggs (mine had super yellow yolks so the pancake has a nice yellow color)
  • 1 cup milk (I put a splash of whipping cream as well)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp melted butter

Here is the naked crepe:


  1. Whisk the eggs.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until mixed  evenly.
  3. Preheat a pan to medium and add a small knob of butter to keep the pancake from sticking.
  4. Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer.
  5. When the top is starting to look dry flip it.
  6. Cook for a couple of minutes until it is turning a golden brown (you can judge how dark you want it, I like mine flexible so that I can roll them easily).
  7. Fill with whatever filling you have and roll up.
  8. Top with fruit and a little syrup.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream

I have been catching some heat for the amount of fried and unhealthy food I been posting; the problem is that I really haven't been cooking anything else. The best I can do is try to cool it down with some ice cream.

We have made this Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream a few times and are in love with it's creamy texture and the, always wonderful, mix of peanut butter and chocolate.

We took the recipe from "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz and didn't change a thing. We have amped it up a bit by throwing some mini peanut butter cups and a few other things.


  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

  1. Whisk the half and half, cocoa, sugar and salt in a sauce pan.
  2. Heat until it boils.
  3. Remove from heat and mix in the peanut butter.
  4. Chill completely then fire into the ice cream maker.
We mixed some mini chocolate covered pretzels and it was pretty much the best bowl of ice cream I've had.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pizza Pops

Growing up in Canada you probably came home from school and popped a couple Pizza Pops in the microwave and were rewarded with molten cheese and frozen chunks of processed meat. Despite their unpredictable internal temperature there was always a huge box of these buried in the back of the freezer waiting to fill you up until an adult could come make you a proper meal.
We were making pizza for guests this weekend and they had to cancel last minute so we had extra dough and ingredients. I figured I could just deep fry a calzone and it would be a Pizza Pop. It turns out I was right but I didn't plan for how much these would expand in the fryer. My pizza pops ended up being the size of large potatoes. They had a great crust on the outside and the perfect gooey middle.

 I filled mine with pizza sauce, hot Italian sausage, chopped pepperoni, pizza mozarella, and sliced garlic stuffed olives.

 I just folded it in half and rolled over the edges. You can see that I had to bandage it up a bit because my sausage was too big and was poking out.

I fried it at 375 degrees for 6 minutes and it turned out perfect. It is the size of a piece of fire wood but full of pizza goodness.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fried Pie

I have continued my reign of frying everything in sight. This addiction has gotten to the point that we have decide to make Friday - "Fryday" and I have to get all my fried foods packed into one day.
I didn't realize how easy it was to make great foods using a fryer. I have only made a handful of things but they have all been better than bar or restaurant food. Once it is warmed up you can't help but find things to chuck in.
This morning I was sitting around thinking of how good it would be to munch on a "beaver tail" (these are a fried dough usually covered with sweet toppings). I realized that I had some dough leftover from when I made my last Bacon Pecan Pie so I rolled it out and it was ready to fry.
I fried it at 375 degrees F for around 2 minutes then drained on paper towel and topped with some brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup with a scoop of EGG NOG ice cream.
This was a little sweet for breakfast but would be a perfect way to end a meal. The pie crust was perfectly flaky. You could top it with any pie filling and ice cream and you would have a dessert that you won't forget. I wasn't really a "beaver tail" but it was close enough for me.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Spicy Chicken Wings

Continuing with my "home pub food" kick here are the wings you wish would arrive every time your server disappears with your order. They were a little time intensive because of marinating and because I had to breakdown full wings into the wings and drum sticks.
I was so in love with Carmine's in New York that Jess got me their cookbook. There are a handful of recipes that I will make but nothing to go nuts over. I started with their "Chicken Wings Scarpariello" recipe and modified it a little to get a stickier wing.
I have never used a deep fryer so I was pretty nervous frying up a whole plate of chicken wings that had been marinating for most of a day after I labouriously hacked them apart. These ended up being less spicy and more of a garlic herb flavour with an extra punch. The meat was still juicy and the skin had the crispiness I was looking for.


  • 12 full wings separated into wings and drums (maybe two pounds)
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1tsp cayanne
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp honey

  1. Marinade the chicken in the juice of two lemons, the lemon carcass, 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic, half the oregano, rosemary, sage and a pinch of the pepper flakes and cayenne (6hrs minimum, overnight if your ambitious). 
  2. Pat the marinade off the wings with paper towel.
  3. Deep fry the wings at 375 degrees F for eight minutes until they are crispy.
  4. I drained the grease off on some paper towels and put the wings in an oven safe glass dish.
  5. When all the wings are fried put them in the oven to keep warm while you make this sauce (this will ensure they are cooked through).
  6.  On the stove top add the remaining garlic and oil to a sauce pan and soften the garlic.
  7. Add the juice of the other two lemons.
  8. Add everything except the butter and cook for around 5 min.
  9. Add the butter and stir until the sauce is the consistency you desire.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Logo!

Check out my new logo for the blog! I think it captures the what I am about in one amazing image. Get ready for some "" swag to be coming out in the near future.

This is a great start to the new year.

- Stoy

EGG NOG Ice Cream!

We have been making ice cream every couple of weeks since getting the ice cream maker for the mixer. I still haven't gotten around to making a custard based ice cream but we are pretty comfortable with the Philadelphia style (basically cream and sugar without eggs).
I wanted a sweet treat over the holiday season and figured I might as well take advantage of Egg Nog season and make some Egg Nog ice cream before I got sick of the Nog.
This ended up being the perfect consistency and if you are a Nog lover this will be on your Christmas list every year going forward. Next time I will probably add some rum or do a rum caramel to top it.


  • 3 cups Egg Nog
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Heat one cup of the Nog, salt, sugar, and vanilla until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the remaining Nog.
  3. Chill in the fridge.
  4. Add it to the ice cream maker and enjoy!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bacon Pecan Pie - UPDATED!

I promised there would be a next time and it came on New Years day. I decided to try making the pie without the chocolate chips and I preferred it while Jess missed it.
My altered recipe started with cooking the bacon. Instead of coating the strips in brown sugar to candy them I coated them in maple syrup and they candied much better.
I completely removed the chocolate chips and bumped up the amount of the pecans and added 2 tbsp's of maple syrup.
The only solution going forward will be to make one of each.


If you haven't been able to reach your weight gain goals for the year this could be recipe to get you past the finish line. It has, pretty much, all the things I love in ingredients, bacon, chocolate, pecans, bourbon... did I mention BACON? Yes!... this is the pie you (maybe just me) have always dreamed about. It was relatively easy to make and one chocolate chip away from being too rich for even my non-discerning palate. I think next time (there will be a next time) I might skip the chocolate part of it.
I used about four different recipes I found online and pieced the rest of the recipe together on my own. I was concerned that the crust would be too mushy with out baking it a little first so I did bake it for about 20 min before adding the filling... this was totally unnecessary and ended up making crust pretty umm crusty. I also probably over baked it a bit while trying to avoid making pie that would totally bleed out when you cut it. Even with my amateur butchery of the baking profession this was a great pie that had everyone going back for seconds. This was more than a novelty dessert and fits perfectly in the holiday season.
I wanted the bacon to really shine so I used bacon grease in the pie crust as well as bacon in the filling.
I started the whole procedure with 1 pound of maple bacon. I took half and coated it in brown sugar and baked in the oven at 425 until it was candied. The other half I fried in pan and collected the grease in a glass jar and refrigerated until it hardened.

Pie Crust


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp bacon grease
  • 6 tbsp cold butter
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • ~3 tbsp cold water

  1.  In a food processor mix all the ingredients other than the bourbon and water until they resemble wet sand.
  2. Add the bourbon and just enough water for the dough to come together.
  3. Wrap the dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 min.
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and fit into your pie dish (leave a little overhang because it will shrink a little as it bakes).
Pie Filling:


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 1/3 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon 
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional; you can add additional pecans and bacon instead of the chocolate)

  1. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, syrup, vanilla, salt, butter and bourbon.
  2. Stir in the pecans, bacon and chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the mixture into your pie shell.
  4. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for around 30 min. It should have a little movement in the centre when you give it a shake. Allow the pie to cool before slicing.
 Happy eating!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Homemade Potato Chips

Our apartment was pumping out some pub favourites while we counted down to 2014. First on the menu was home made potato chips. I used some special kitchen equipment to make these but they are possible without the tools I have. 
I received a deep fryer for Christmas and wanted to test it out with something easy and I figures that sliced potato was about as simple as it gets. The coloring on them is darker than store bought chips but they did have the perfect crunch and were not greasy.


  • 1 large potato
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • seasoning of your choice (I used salt, dill and vinegar)

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice cold water.
  2. With a food processor, or by any means, thinly slice the potato in to the water.
  3. Let the sliced potato soak for 20 min.
  4. Drain the water and refill with ice cold water and add the salt. You are trying to get the potato to shed some starch and moisture so that they crisp in the fryer.
  5. Drain the water and dry the potato slices with a tea towel.
  6. Fry in batches for 4 mins at 375 degrees F.
  7. Remove from the fryer and drain the grease off on a paper towel. Salt immediately.
These disappeared fast and got us ready for more fried treats.